Eight straight for DDSS

The Delhi News-Record - - FRONT PAGE - JA­COB ROBINSON

The Delhi Dy­nasty con­tin­ues. With wins in the home­craft, team tug of war and cheer­lead­ing com­pe­ti­tions, the Delhi Raiders were crowned Young Canada Day Grand Champions for the eighth year in a row to open the 177th Nor­folk County Fair and Horse Show Tues­day morn­ing, Oct. 3.

The Raiders got a run for their money cour­tesy of Holy Trin­ity and Val­ley Heights, but ul­ti­mately ex­tended their streak, which reaches all the way back to 2010.

While the DDSS cel­e­bra­tion seems to get big­ger each year, Raiders cheer team co-cap­tain Calissa Nowe’s face wasn’t so much emit­ting joy but both tears and re­lief.

Each year the streak con­tin­ues also ratch­ets up the pres­sure to carry it on.

“This is all the hard prac­tices, all the cheers, all the dec­o­ra­tions – all year we’ve been pre­par­ing to come back and do it again ... It means ev­ery­thing,” said Nowe fol­low­ing her fourth and fi­nal Young Canada Day.

“The whole school comes to­gether, the whole school is so ex­cited about this ev­ery year and eight years in a row, we did it again.”

Al­most im­me­di­ately after the Raiders cheer squad was an­nounced as win­ners be­fore a packed Lloyd S. Cul­ver Grand­stand, Nowe jogged out­side the frenzy to share a hug with her mother Stacy, a mem­ber of the team’s coach­ing staff.

“To spend this whole year with her and im­prove, to fi­nally have it and ex­pe­ri­ence the win to­gether, it’s unreal,” she said. “It’s amaz­ing.”

Tug of War

The Raiders didn’t have a ti­tle in their pocket un­til coach Robin Sallewsky’s girls tug of war squad beat Holy Trin­ity in the fi­nals to give their school some much­needed points.

“It’s so ex­cit­ing for them,” said Sallewsky.

“The girls are awe­some, we’ve worked on the tech­nique, they come out to prac­tice and they’re so hard­work­ing and ded­i­cated, just like all the kids at Delhi.”

On the boys side, the Val­ley Heights Bears – un­beaten in the round robin – were down to their last breath after los­ing the first pull of a best two-of-three fi­nal to Holy Trin­ity in a whop­ping 1:43 tug. The Bears would come off the mat to win two in a row and send their en­tire stu­dent body and staff into a hys­te­ria. No one was hap­pier than Peter Klassen, who leaped into the arms of his team­mates after the third and fi­nal pull. He even hugged VHSS vice prin­ci­pal Jim Merrick.

“I was over­whelmed,” he said. “I’ve never been a part of this be­fore where we’ve got No. 1 and it was just a great mo­ment.”

Klassen said his team used the hec­tic sur­round­ings to rise to the oc­ca­sion.

“We got some mo­ti­va­tion from our coach, the crowd and we wanted to win for the school be­cause it’s been a while,” he added. “We just wanted to bring the win back to Val­ley.”

Road Race

Just like her team­mate Hope Biro did back in 2015, Fiona Joynes an­nounced her ar­rival to the Nor­folk high school scene in a big way. The Grade 9 speed­ster won the girls road race in what ap­peared to be easy fash­ion. After the first of two laps around the track, Joynes was among a hand­ful of rac­ers near the front of the pack but quickly took the lead and never looked back de­spite ad­mit­ting to some nerves.

“I was happy,” Joynes said. “I know a lot of the girls be­cause I’ve done this for a re­ally long time, but it just felt so good.”

Also fin­ish­ing in the Top 5 was Biro, who had noth­ing but praise for her young team­mate.

“I un­der­stand how it feels be­cause I took the ti­tle when I was in Grade 9,” she said. “It’s her turn to be champ now and I’m just re­ally happy for her. She trains re­ally hard, she keeps up with me and she’s beat me at cross coun­try prac­tice - she’s great.”

The boys race saw one of the clos­est and most ex­cit­ing fin­ishes in re­cent mem­ory. Carter Ja­cobs of Val­ley Heights looked to have things well in hand down the stretch, that was un­til Sim­coe’s Brody McKnight made a mad dash in the fi­nal 200m. The two were neck and neck going into the last few steps, that’s when Ja­cobs edged ahead by a nose. He was greeted at the fin­ish line by the VHSS boys tug of war team, who kept him up­right after emp­ty­ing the tank.

“I could see ev­ery­body else cheer­ing so I was like ‘ holy crap, he’s com­ing’,” Ja­cobs said of the fi­nal mo­ments of the race.

“( Win­ning) was awe­some, and it sucks be­cause I can’t breathe.”

Be­ing named vic­to­ri­ous at Young Canada Day has al­most be­come sec­ond na­ture to the Raiders, but the shine of the crown never wears off, Sallewsky said.

“Never, how could it ever get old?” she asked. “I’ve been a Raider for many years and it never gets old and ev­ery year (the stu­dents are) more ex­cited than the year be­fore.”


Delhi Raiders had plenty to cheer about dur­ing Young Canada Day at the Nor­folk County Fair Oct. 3. DDSS won its eighth con­sec­u­tive over­all sec­ondary school ti­tle last week. Among those rock­ing the grand­stand were Alyssa Long, left, and Natalia Innes.

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